Revocation Letters from the Mass. Registry Often Misunderstood

The Mass. RMV suspended licenses for any one of approximately 65 different reasons. Whenever someone’s license is suspended by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, a letter is sent to the address on file with the Registry. This is why it is important to notify the Registry of any change of address. In fact, G.L. c. 90 § 26A requires license holders to notify the Registry within thirty (30) days after making an address change.

Keeping the Registry of Motor Vehicles informed of your current address is important because the Registry sends letters regarding suspensions and revocations to the address on file for the license holder. These letters are often misunderstood. I’ve had numerous clients misread and misinterpret these important letters which state, in part, as follows: “When your license or right to operate motor vehicles has been suspended or revoked, you must immediately cease to operate all motor vehicles until your license or right to operate has been reinstated.” The letters from the Registry also state that “If the above applies to the registration of your motor vehicle, operation of such vehicle must cease at once and the registration certificate and plates must be surrendered to me immediately.”

Many people read the preceding sentence to mean that they must surrender their registration and license plates if their license is suspended. This is incorrect. The Mass. Registry only requires surrender of registrations and plates if the registration, and not just the person’s license, is suspended or revoked. The Registry letters usually also inform the recipient that they may have a hearing at the Driver Control Unit of the Registry of Motor Vehicles. The RMV Suspension and Driver Control Unit is located on the 4th Floor of the Chinatown Branch of the Registry, 630 Washington St, Boston, MA. You have the right to be represented by a lawyer at any Registry hearing  and, depending on the case, legal representation can be a very good idea.